Cruise Line Shorts: Name That NCL Ship, HGTV Designer Advises Royal and More

September 13, 2013

(1:10 p.m.) -- Every week we catch wind of so much cruise news, we don't always know what to do with it all, but a few standout bits sometimes catch our attention. Here are some interesting cruise tidbits we think you might like to know about.

Neon, Ice & the Name Game

Need to make a last minute dinner reservation but there's no maitre'd in sight? That's not going to be a problem on Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships for much longer. New digital, interactive signage -- first introduced on Breakaway this past May -- will be rolled out to the entire fleet by summer 2015. About 30 to 50 of the screens (some touch, some static) will be located around each ship and will provide everything from directions, to booking dinner or shore excursions as well as personal concierge services, with the swipe of a cabin key card…

… Fast forward four months, and in addition to the nifty interactive signs, Norwegian Getaway will debut with a Miami-themed ice bar. Kept at a cool 17 degrees Fahrenheit, the SVEDKA/Inniskillin Ice Bar will channel Miami Beach's Ocean Drive and feature an alligator ice throne for those brave enough to take a seat. On the menu will be five Florida-inspired signature cocktails with two non-alcoholic choices. Entry is $20 per person and includes two signature cocktails…

… You've only got two weeks left to help Norwegian name their two Breakaway Plus ships. You can vote on Norwegian's "Norwegians Name Their Ships" contest on Facebook through September 24. All entrants have a chance to win a trip to the first ship's inaugural celebration.

Starry Advice

Royal Caribbean International is turning to the superstars of design, sports and entertainment to create much of Quantum of the Sea's onboard experience. First up is Genevieve Gorder, an interior designer and HGTV personality, who is collaborating with the line on the ship's decor, as well as furnishings of the loft and suite accommodations onboard Quantum.

Permit, Schmermit

The saga of the proposed Charleston cruise terminal continues. This time a judge has tossed out a federal permit for the terminal granted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Associated Press reports. The $35 million cruise terminal is not quite dead in the water yet, though. By deciding that the Army Corp did not adequately review all the project impacts and returning it to them for further review, the judge keeps the door open for the permit to be re-issued. The decision came as a result of a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the permit. It is one of three legal challenges to the proposed terminal.

A Poison Apple

If it sounds too good to be true… well you know the rest. But when a promo for a free cruise with $3,500 worth of onboard credit started circulating on Facebook last weekend, hundreds of people fell for it. The promo, posted by a Facebook page posing as Disney Cruise Line, stated the line was having such a great year that the company wanted to share its "good fortune with our loving fans" by giving away seven-day cruise packages that included $3,500 in spending money for up to four people. The villain in this Disney story, which goes by the name, Disney Cruise Lines Fun 2013, asks users to submit personal information to obtain their prize. So as red and juicy as this apple looks, we warn you -- it's poisonous.

Internet Forecast: Sunny Days Ahead

Princess Cruises is betting on a new partner to speed up onboard communications with 3G wireless service. The line is testing the waters first aboard Sun Princess, where the 3G service from Maritime Communications Partner is providing faster data speeds

--by Dori Saltzman, News Editor, Gina Kramer, Associate Editor, and Brittany Chrusciel, Editorial Assistant